In early March, an independent strategy was released by the University of Stirling entitled Health first: an evidence based alcohol strategy for the UK.
Informed by the vision to create a ‘safer, healthier and happier world where the harm caused by alcohol is minimised’, 10 recommendations are proposed to achieve evidence-based harm reduction within the United Kingdom – with relevance to other contexts such as Australia. These are:
- A minimum price per serve (‘unit’) of alcohol
- Redesigning alcohol labels to ensure at least 30% of the space is an evidence-based warning
- Restricting sales of alcohol to specific times of day and designated areas
- Introducing a volumetric approach to alcohol taxation
- Reviewing licensing legislation to empower local authorities to effect changes in their jurisdictions
- Prohibiting all alcohol advertising and sponsorship
- Creating an independent body to regulate alcohol promotion
- Reducing the legal BAC limits to 0.05
- Ensure training for all health and social care professionals for better early identification and brief interventions
- Routine referrals for people with alcohol problems to specialist services
Although the strategy was developed for the UK, it contains evidence and policy arguments which are meaningful for everyone seeking to address the harms of alcohol.